What makes up your business image? Is it the way you talk? Your ads and marketing? Your online presence? Maybe it’s the sense of trustworthiness clients feel when they encounter you. Truth is, your business image is all of these things and much more! That’s why it’s important to dress for success!
First, you must understand what image is. What’s image?
The perception people have of your business when they hear your company name. A business’s image is composed of an infinite variety of facts, events, personal histories, advertising and goals that work together to make an impression on the public.
From the day you begin brainstorming your business, you are developing your image. From the way you share you ambitions with friends, to the way you organize your data and conduct business interactions. Sure, you can spend countless dollars on building your business website. You can invest in marketing, accounting, and any other aspect of your business that you like. At the end of the day whether or not a client decides to work with you, is going to depend on your business image.
Fake It ’til You Make It
Ever heard of the phrase “fake it ’til you make it”? It may sound like a corny little catchphrase, but it holds true in the business world. Picture this: You are CEO of a major corporation, and looking to hire your next VP. You have several employees who dedicate their life and soul to your company and possess an impressive skill set. One employee, however, differentiates himself from the others. He comes to work each day DRESSED like he’s a VP. He carries himself with an air of confidence, while still being approachable. This employee ends up getting the position because he has taken the time to dress for success. While there may have been other employees that matched his skill set, his IMAGE is what set him apart. You can teach skill. Experience comes with tenure. Professionalism, trustworthiness, and diligence, however, are qualities that are not easily taught and/or measured. They are, instead, perceived.
Invest In Yourself
Whether you love shopping for clothes, like me; or whether you find shopping for clothes about as fun as shopping for dewormer for dogs ; it’s imperative you take the time to develop and grow your business wardrobe. Everyone’s wardrobe doesn’t need to consist of a button up and tie, like my handsome Husband is wearing in the picture. In fact, in some businesses that would be downright ridiculous. If you dropped your child of at daycare and the teacher was wearing a three piece suit, you might think it they are way to uptight to be working with your toddler all day. Likewise, I work from home. You wont catch me wearing business casual to the office everyday. I do own these clothes though, and am prepared to pull them out at the drop of a dime for an in person meeting with a client, at the chamber of commerce, or any other occasion where it is appropriate. I still dress for success each day.
[Tweet “You might be the top performer in your position and feel that you deserve a promotion, but no one is going to take you seriously in that position if they can’t visualize you in it.”]
Use your best judgment to determine what business image you should portray. Keep in mind, what you wear is how you perform. I don’t perform the same in my P.J.s as I do when I am showered, groomed, and well put together. What you wear is also how you’re perceived. Fake it ’til you make it!